Former U.S. Senator Al Franken defended “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg this week, asserting that her stage name –specifically “Goldberg” — proves she’s not “anti-Semitic.”
Goldberg, whose real name is Caryn Johnson, was hit with a two-week suspension from “The View” after she argued on the show that the targeting and extermination of millions of Jews during the Holocaust had nothing to do with “race.”
Franken, who is Jewish, said Wednesday on CNN that Goldberg wouldn’t choose a Jewish surname if she were anti-Semitic. “I know Whoopi,” he said. “She’s not anti-Semitic. She chose ‘Goldberg’ for her last name for a stage name.”
“I think she gave a really fulsome and sincere apology,” the former senator added. “I think what she said wasn’t quite what she meant.”
Disney-owned ABC News announced Tuesday that Goldberg would be suspended for two weeks from the show, effectively immediately.
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments. While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments. The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends and communities,” ABC News president Kim Godwin said in a statement.
Goldberg has also taken to Twitter to address the controversy: “As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected,” she wrote.
“The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver [sic]. I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused,” the cohost added.
Columnist, author, and former presidential speechwriter John Podhoretz had a different take than Franken, accusing Goldberg of “co-opting” her stage name from the Jewish people. He urged her to drop the surname.
Podhoretz said in a New York Post column published Tuesday that “performer Caryn Johnson” did not land on the last name “Goldberg” because it “signified ‘whiteness.’”
Johnson chose Goldberg “because it would represent the proud ownership of her outsider status. She wasn’t trying to blend in. She was doubling down — on race.”
“Note, please, that Caryn Johnson didn’t become Whoopi Rockefeller,” Podhoretz pointed out. “No. She knew that by becoming Whoopi Goldberg, she would be choosing to flaunt in every way possible the fact that she was a minority person in a majority-white country. The ‘Goldberg’ was the cherry on top.”
“It’s obvious that a 2022 version of young Caryn Johnson would not choose the name Goldberg to gain that extra frisson of non-white pride,” Podhoretz said.
“Whoopi Goldberg should just drop the Goldberg now,” the author closed the post. “There are dozens of survivors of the Holocaust who bear the name — and an untold number who died in the Shoah with it. Caryn Johnson stains them both.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.